Free minicourses

Here are some free, video-based minicourses I’ve created for my students.

Six Rules for Writing a Straight News Lead presents the basic lead writing principles I teach in my introductory media writing course. The minicourse includes a link to an approximately 15-minute video lecture covering the same material.

The Data Journalism minicourse will introduce you to Excel, Microsoft’s cheap, ubiquitous spreadsheet program, cover some basic Excel skills, move into advanced techniques, and finally show you how to extend Excel’s capabilities by pairing it with other applications, including Microsoft Access, Google Fusion Tables, and the Excel Data Analysis Tool-Pak.

Spreadsheet Basics is a spreadsheet introduction I designed for use in the entry-level media writing course here at Middle Tennessee State University. It covers basic spreadsheet techniques using Google Sheets, the free, Web-based spreadsheet available from Google.

Understanding Poll Error Margins and Statistical Ties explains these two frequently reported concepts from public opinion polling and gives you some downloadable tools for calculating them.

Intro to Excel Pivot Tables explains Excel’s amazing – and amazingly easy to use – pivot table tool.